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Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Feds Push for Elderly Driver Regulations

As you age, you might find that it’s becoming a little more difficult to check your blind spots. And, overall, we’re just not as good behind the wheel as we were when we were younger.

Elderly driving safety is an issue of particular importance in Broward and elsewhere in South Florida, where so many retirees make their home. According to the Associated Press, there are no set ground rules regulating these elderly drivers. That’s why it’s up to the driver, their friends and their families to know when it’s time to make adjustments to an elderly loved one’s driving habits, or to speak with them about a time to give up the keys for good. It’s not about giving up your independence, but it’s about hanging on to life.

Our Palm City car accident lawyers know there are a number of programs out there to help keep these elderly drivers safe behind the wheel. As we head into the busy winter holiday, travel and tourist season, we encourage friends and family members to look after older loved ones.

Based out of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), the Florida Grand Driver program offers driver evaluations in an office and out on the road. These kinds of programs help to offer an outside perspective and also help families to approach the topic with a parent or older family member.

According to the Republican Herald, there are 30 states that have certain requirements for elderly driver’s licenses. Some of these states require these drivers to get their licenses renewed more often than younger drivers. In the state of Florida, drivers only have to undergo a vision test once they turn 80-years-old. There are no other special requirements, according to

On the other hand, drivers can be required to take a written test if they have a poor driving history or if they show any signs of physical or mental impairment. These tests can be requested for a driver by an officer, a family member, a friend or another driver. Drivers can also be subjected to a road test under the same conditions.

According to the NHTSA, more than 15 percent of traffic accident fatalities in 2010 were people who were 65-years-old or older. That means that close to 5,500 of our elderly loved ones are killed in traffic accidents each year. Another 190,000 are injured.

In the state of Florida, there were close to 510 elderly drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2010.

There have been quite a few car accidents involving elderly drivers in recent weeks and it’s drawing the attention of transportation officials and lawmakers. Recently, the federal government made a proposal for all states to take the necessary steps to make sure that elderly drivers are monitored. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls this epidemic “the real and growing problem of older driver safety.”

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Road Rage: Dangerous Drivers on South Florida Roads, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 10, 2012

Car Accident Risks Reduced with Brain-Conditioning Program, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 7, 2012

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